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MacTheatre’s fall musical debuts tomorrow

Abigail Salazar

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Junior Sophia Mullican and freshman Magnus Bohls dance together for their roles of Paula and Frank Sr., Frank Jr’s parents. Photo by Jasmine Barrera.

Starting off the McCallum Theatre’s 2017-18 season is the musical Catch Me if You Can, which is hitting the stage this Thursday. The show is about con-man Frank Jr., portrayed by junior Till Simon. Frank runs away from home at age 16, managing to trick his way into becoming a doctor and an airplane pilot.

Within the musical are numerous tap and dance routines performed by the dance ensemble. According to a dance ensemble member, sophomore Blair Kinsey, these numbers can be challenging.

“There are two tap dance numbers within the play, and a lot of the people in the dance ensemble haven’t tapped before,” Kinsey said. “This brings a new challenge to the dance ensemble.”

Catch Me if You Can features multiple big songs throughout the show, requiring a large amount of singing and dancing from the ensemble..

“I’m surprised by what a big role the dancing is actually, because almost every scene has a big dance number,” Kinsey said.

Senior Tryston Davis, who plays Roger, the father of Frank Jr’s girlfriend Brenda, dances and acts in the show.Davis said doing both in the show isn’t much of a challenge.

“It’s not that hard; it is, but also it’s not at the same time,” Davis said. “So far, I’m feeling more confident in my character and in the dance process.”

The bigger challenge, Davis said, can be bringing your character to life or connecting with them. Davis’ character is a man in his 50s, while Davis himself is 17.

“It’s challenging, because he is super old,” Davis said. “So that means I’m [suppose to be] in my 50s, and I’m not in my 50s. I’m super energetic in person, and now I kinda have to be a little bit slower to match Roger.”

Not only is this the first show in MacTheatre’s season, it’s also the first show in Davis’ senior year. Davis has been a part of theatre at McCallum since his freshman year.

Sophomore Lilah Guaragna rehearses one of the many dance ensemble numbers during a tech rehearsal. Photo by Jasmine Barrera.

“My freshman year, I did Ghost the Musical, the spring musical,” Davis said. “I was like ‘Oh I really like this,’ so I was thinking maybe my senior year I should do two musicals.”

Having been a part of theatre since his freshman year, Davis has been able to see the differences between all the plays and how everyone has grown.

“It’s very different, because it’s more of a funny show than any of the other shows that we have done,” Davis said “It is also very dance heavy, more than Ghost and Titanic.”

Junior Sophia Mullican also stars in Catch Me if You Can  as Frank Jr.’s French mother Paula, who is a disappointment to Frank.

“It’s really fun; I’ve got to be really suave, and there is a lot of slow dancing,” Mullican said “There’s this femme fatale, and it’s fun to do the French accent, it took me a while to get it, but I’m getting it a little bit at a time.”

Earlier in the process, there were concerns surrounding the process of the show. Davis was worried about getting the whole show in sync and pulling everything off.

“Putting the whole show together has me worried, because we haven’t put both the acting and the dancing part together.” Davis said at the beginning of September. Mullican also had her worries about getting the show put together on time to where everything is working.

“Till was gone for a really long time. … We had started rehearsal in July 31, and he wasn’t there for any of the rehearsal,” Mullican said. “He knows his stuff and was doing his research while in Germany, but I don’t know; that’s a lot, because we have to put him into the scenes really quick, and there are a lot of set pieces.”

While junior Till Simon, the lead of the play, missed rehearsal time, he was able to practice while away. He shared his castmates’ concerns, but mostly hopes that everything will work out.

“I was away on a family vacation at Germany,” Simon said. “I did study lines, and I asked for a lot of songs to be transposed. I did what I could do, but majority of the work is coming back and getting everything together.”

As the days continue and the play gets closer to opening night, everything is starting to connect and come together better, according to the actors.

By Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal, those early concerns had been put to rest. At the conclusion of the rehearsal, the cast and crew received a heartfelt congratulation from director Joshua Denning who applauded them for getting the performance ready for opening night.

Curtains open tomorrow night and runs through Sunday with an encore week Oct. 5-8, all at the McCallum Arts Center. For more information and tickets, go to mactheatre.com

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MacTheatre’s fall musical debuts tomorrow